Subject: airline seating for families
Dear fellow Travelziners

The Young family are due to depart for Europe from Australia in less than 2 months and I am starting to go into the planning mode which says what must I organise, what contingencies must I plan for ...

I have heard some bad stories about airline seating arrangements - families getting separated, children sitting by themselves ... I think my 2 would hold their own, I am not sure whether their neighbouring passenger could withstand 20 hours of non-stop chat though!

Any suggestions as to how to organise a desirable outcome - eg 2 + 2 or all 4 together? We have cheap early-bird flights and so recognise we won't be the airline's most valuable customers. Would it be worth joining the Frequent Flyers Club. I do not anticipate accumulating enough miles for any benefits but would the US$50 joining fee per person be worth anything - for that we wouldn't get lounges just check-in at their special counter and would they then say that is only for one person and not a family of 4?

We are flying Cathay Pacific.

Advice welcomed

many thanks Anne Canberra, Australia